A few months ago, I led a workshop on the topic of “Better Blogging”.
As a so-called “digital native” with experience with blogging platforms ranging back to LiveJournal circa 2003, my view on blogs is that they are part of your home page, your key presence, a hub and a personalised place for rich content and informing your audience about news from your company.
However, the two key questions I was met with throughout the workshop were these:
- What makes this a blog post?; and
- Can’t I just post it on Facebook?
In a word, yes. However, topics that are truly newsworthy, like the launch of a new product or service, a public event or an award win, is worth more than a flash-in-the-pan Tweet. The half-life of a Twitter update can be measured in hours; a blog post will stay on your website to be revisited for days, weeks, and months. So let’s take a look at what you can (and should!) blog about.
What should I blog about?
Blog posts should be more substantial than Facebook updates or Pinterest boards. Start with a bold headline, an eye-catching header image, and tell your readers a good story.
Blogs are also a great resource for your readers. Try to teach your community something, demonstrate your expertise, and have fun with it.
Key blog post types include:
- News stories
- Announcements and product launches
- Events and opportunities to interact
- Competitions and giveaways
- How-to posts
If your topic can give insight to your readers, it should be a blog post. If it is a milestone moment for your company, it deserves to be blogged about. While social media should provide some content surrounding your business, blogs can be more about you. Don’t be afraid to shout about your brand – this is your home after all! But try to provide value when you do.
Blogging is primary; social media is secondary
In these halcyon days of social media, it is easy to get swept up in the immediacy of it all.
That is why it is all the more important to keep a place of your own where you can trust that your content will always be correct, up-to-date, and in your own words… and as many characters as you wish! While the constraints of social media platforms can breed creativity, your home page and particularly your blog are where your community will grow and strengthen.
While changes to social media platforms are legion, with blogging there is nothing to be relearned. You have the freedom to find your voice and share what you want to share in the way that you want to share it.
Your aim with social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest, is to link back to your home. That is where your audience and community should be able to find key information about your products and services, learn about your brand, and get to know your voice. Linking back to blog posts is a key way to establish this relationship and encourage repeat visits to your website. For returning visits, there is no better metric than a social media post that links back to your blog.
Additionally, despite these constant changes, Facebook now ranks rich content like articles over other types of content. Meanwhile Twitter has always been the place to go for interesting web links, Tumblr is great for seeding content, and Pinterest boards are an easy way to link key images with links to your blog content.
Is your business blogging? What topics have you found to be the most enticing to your readers?